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What Do I Need to Know About Non-Marital Agreements?

There are many people in today’s day and age who choose to not get married and simply prefer to live with their partner. However, this arrangement does not provide the same legal benefits that marriage does. It is because of this that there are certain steps that should be taken in order to ensure that people who choose to spend their lives together outside of marriage can have legal rights to one another. This can be done with a non-marital agreement. When facing these situations, it is important to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for assistance. 

What Does a Non-Marital Agreement Do?

There are a variety of functions that a non-marital agreement serves. It is because of this that they are helpful documents for those who wish to stay unmarried. Some of the benefits that this agreement can provide can include the following:

  • Both parties can establish one another as their power of attorney
  • Both partners have the authority to make health care decisions for each other in the event that one is unable to do so for themselves
  • Both partners can make advanced health care directive decisions. This can include whether or not they want life-sustaining treatment, if applicable. 
  • Both partners can include one another in their life or health insurance policies

Is My Agreement Valid?

When a non-marital agreement is being drafted, it is important to know that it must meet several qualifications in order for it to be considered valid. In the event that it is not valid, it cannot be enforced by the court if necessary. The qualifications for a non-marital agreement in New Jersey can include the following:

  • Both parties must retain legal counsel or explicitly waive their right to legal counsel in writing
  • Both parties must state that there was no manipulation, coercion, or threat by either party to sign the document
  • All property included in the cohabitation agreement must be fully disclosed and correctly valued. This can include homes, cars, etc.
  • Both parties must state that they have had a reasonable amount of time to consider both the benefits and implications of the non-marital agreement before signing the document

While a non-marital document is legally enforceable, it is not the final word once it is created. If both partners want to revise the document later on, they are able to do so. 

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If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.